School district building new vo-tech center; old center to be renovated

HORN LAKE — The DeSoto County school system will build a new vocational-technical education center in Horn Lake.

School Superintendent Milton Kuykendall told The Commercial Appeal that the old vo-tech center will be renovated to provide more classrooms at Southaven high and middle schools.

The new center site is 70 acres at U.S. Highway 51 and Nail Road in Horn Lake

County school board members have hired Allen & Hoshall as the architect for both the new center and renovation of the old facility.

Kuykendall said the projects will give western DeSoto County students a facility comparable to the new vo-tech facility in Olive Branch for eastern DeSoto County. He said it will bring much-needed relief to crowding in Southaven.

“That’s where the biggest crowding problem is,” Kuykendall said of Southaven, where eight classrooms are already being added at Southaven Elementary.

Kuykendall wasn’t sure how many classrooms would be added in the vo-tech facility renovation, but he said it would be enough to address crowding problems on the middle and high schools campuses for at least five or six years, maybe as many as 10.

Kuykendall said his goal is to have the new facility open by August, although school officials were unclear if that goal can be met.

He said the system is planning to do some “creative things” with programs at the new facility, which won’t necessarily offer the same courses as its Olive Branch counterpart.

“We’ve got people looking at other vo-tech facilities right now to see what they do,” Kuykendall said. “Northwest Mississippi Community College is partnering with us, and we think we’re going to be able to do some exciting things there.”

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